2020 has been a year of upheaval. Every norm that we have known seems to be turned on its head. Some of the systemic change we are seeing is excellent. We have been forced to embrace technology as part of the legal profession, to consider new ways of doing old things, and to adapt to respond to situations that change as rapidly as we adjust.
This change is building momentum. I want to capitalize on that momentum to make greater systemic change for the legal profession. If elected, I would spearhead initiatives with the Law Society to ensure greater representation of BIPOC lawyers in the legal community. I would introduce amendments to the Code that require special consideration in practice standards and discipline to issues arising out of systemic discrimination.
I would encourage greater use of technology at the Law Society to streamline applications, processing of documents, and decisions on discipline and professional conduct.
The Law Society’s mandate includes bringing a voice to issues affecting the justice system and delivery of legal services. I would introduce initiatives to help lawyers who are struggling financially to adopt new technology, by advocating for the creation of a fund to assist with necessary purchases.
The regulatory framework in place disproportionately affects small and solo practitioners. The cost of having to navigate a confusing regulatory framework is borne by clients, preventing small and solo practitioners from being able to provide affordable services. This in turn, negatively affects access to justice. I would advocate to reduce the burden on small firms and solo practitioners so that they can more easily deliver services to the clients who need them.
Family law poses huge access to justice barriers. If elected, I would advocate to use Law Society resources to push for a unified family court.